Tea Towel Subscription

The monthly Eat Drink Lucky Tea Towel subscription service got a shout out in the Ruth Reichel holiday gift guide.

If you have a friend who is equally reluctant to let go of aging objects, they’d probably be thrilled with this extremely unusual monthly tea towel subscription. Each one is handmade by a Maine artist, and each is different. Best of all, they’re so lovely that even the most ardent collector would be embarrassed to store them in a drawer filled with tattered old rags. .

State Business Aid Program

Governor Janet Mills has announced a $40M aid program to benefit the hospitality industry.

Governor Janet Mills announced today an economic recovery grant program to support Maine’s tourism, hospitality, and retail small businesses. Backed by $40 million in Federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF), the Tourism, Hospitality & Retail Recovery Grant Program is focused specifically on supporting Maine’s service sector small businesses, such as restaurants, bars, tasting rooms, lodging and retail shops, which have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and now face additional challenges with the coming winter months.

Applications open on Wednesday.

The application portal will open Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. on DECD’s website and will remain open until funds are depleted. The application is expected to take about ten minutes to complete. Funds must be committed by December 30, 2020 per guidance from the U.S. Treasury Department.

Update: Opening of the application process has been delayed to 9am on Thursday December 3rd.

Food Insecurity

This week’s Portland Phoenix talked to Wayside, Good Shepherd, Preble Street, Full Plates, and Project FEED about the increased demand for assistance they’re responding to during the pandemic.

Additionally, according to Full Plates Full Potential, 43 percent of Maine’s public school children rely on school meals to get the food they need.

Portland’s increased need for food assistance has also been evident at Preble Street Food Programs. Joe Conroy, senior director of food programs and facilities at Preble Street, last week said his organization “has provided record amounts of food” to local people in need since the pandemic began, and is on track to provide 1 million meals in 2020.

To help fight hunger in Maine consider a donation to:

Winter Business Sustainability Grant Program

The city has announced a grant program to help businesses with costs for outdoor operations during the pandemic. The application deadline is December 9.

The City of Portland’s Winter Business Sustainability Grant Program (WBSG) is being launched today, November 19. Offering grants of up to $10,000, the Program’s purpose is to assist Portland businesses with the cost of maintaining a portion of their operations outside through the fall and winter, due to the pandemic. The program’s main objective is job retention.

Grant funds can be used for a variety of items including furniture, equipment, heaters, coverings, platforms, lighting, signage, barricades and other things needed to extend outdoor business operations as the temperatures goes down. Items must be purchased after November 19, 2020 to be eligible for grant reimbursement.

see program guidelines | download application

9 PM Curfew

Governor Mills has announced a new measure intended to help curtail spiking Covid numbers by implementing a 9 pm curfew November 20th through December 6th.

Beginning tomorrow, Friday, November 20, 2020, through Sunday, December 6, 2020, all outdoor and indoor amusement venues, movie theaters, performing arts venues, casinos, and businesses that provide seated food and drink service, including social clubs, restaurants, and bars and tasting rooms currently open for outdoor service, will close for the night by 9:00 p.m. This limit on hours is designed to limit extended gatherings at a time when many students and family members are returning to Maine and at a time when social gatherings are more common, both of which will likely lead to more COVID-19 transmission.

Sacred Bakery

The Bangor Daily News has published a report on the Sacred Bakery run by the Sacred Heart/St. Dominic Parish as a fundraising the “parish’s continuing efforts to make those arriving in Maine feel more comfortable”.

“We are so thankful for the support of our mission,” said Kimberly MacDonald, who oversees the ‘Sacred Bakery’ at Sacred Heart Church in Portland. “The proceeds go to supporting our mission of assisting refugees, asylums, immigrants, and those who are marginalized.”

Marcy’s Beer/Wine License

Marcy’s Diner has filed the paperwork to apply for a beer and wine license (page 98).

Obtaining a beer and wine permit will enable the Diner to be comparable with other local restaurants with respect to level of service and menu offerings. The hours of operation for the diner are currently Thursday – Sunday, 8am – 1pm. We may add in Monday evening dinners beginning in the late fall.

Governor Postpones Indoor Seating for Bars/Tasting Rooms

In response to the rapidly growing number of Covid cases in Maine, Governor Mills has made changes to rules regarding restaurants, bars and tasting rooms.

The plan for bars and tasting rooms to re-open for indoor service starting on November 2nd has been postponed until further notice. Additionally, indoor gatherings are limited to a maximum capacity of 50 people.

A message from Governor Mills,

“To the business owners and employees of bars and tasting rooms, I am deeply sorry that we have been forced to make this decision to postpone your reopening to prevent the further spread of the virus. I know that you were ready and willing to follow public health guidance to keep yourselves and Maine people safe. We realize that this decision will cause hardship. We do not take this action lightly, but the rapid rise in cases in just the past six days means that we cannot in good conscience proceed with the planned reopening,” said Governor Mills. “My Administration will continue to do all we can to support Maine’s small businesses and hardworking families through these challenging times and will continue to seek further financial relief from Congress for Maine businesses who have lost so much already.”